Christian minister to Israel Mike Evans noted this past Monday:
"Sixty-nine years ago today Russian soldiers crossed under the infamous
Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Makes You Free) sign at Auschwitz and liberated the remaining Jewish survivors of that dreadful place. The United Nations marked today as International Holocaust Remembrance Day."
Not only must we not forget the historical lessons of this brutal past, but we must also come to understand the deeper, more pervasive spiritual lessons that have affected all of mankind throughout history. As noted above, Hitler cloaked the hideous brutality of his death camps with the satanic lie that "work makes you free."
From the fig leaves Adam and the woman covered themselves with in Eden, to the self-righteous works of the Pharisees in Jesus' day and throughout history until today, mankind has continually worked and warred to gain what God all along wanted to give us freely by His grace: love, acceptance, forgiveness, belonging, purpose, provision, even his own righteousness and ultimately freedom to live life to the fullest and fulfill our identity and destiny. Satan has ruled the world by creating an invisible kingdom or system to control and dole out false substitutes for these real things our Heavenly Father offers us freely in Christ. Satan has thus enslaved the majority of mankind to his perpetual motion squirrel cage of works and busyness striving and clawing to obtain the fake crumbs that only the real bread of this Life that Papa God would give us freely can satisfy. This scam has pervaded every institution of society in history whether family, government, education, business, arts, etc. But sadly the biggest lie perpetuating this satanic system has been religion: even so often in centuries of what was supposed to be Christianity and the church unto this day has been only blind leaders blinding others and creating often the heaviest chains of religious slavery and works that hid and buried the true treasures of God's unfathomable grace extended to all mankind -- including the "free gift of righteousness" which religion seduces humans to slave and sweat to earn.
Of course, I do not say man should not work. But spiritually in Christ Jesus, we work not for God's free gifts of forgiveness, eternal life, provision, purpose, fellowship with Him, etc -- but we yield to the Holy Spirit to work through us as a response to His free grace and love. We are not saved by grace only to maintain our relationship with God by works as many subtly teach or imply. Else we are saying Jesus' work on the cross was not enough.
And regarding our provision: so many Christians have yet to see we are not called to work for our provision, but for God in our Kingdom calling and destiny in whatever field we are called -- and as we do so knowing He will abundantly supply all our needs. As in the beginning, all the needs of Adam and the woman were provided in the Garden - they didn't work for their provision. Work was worship -- and a blessing and opportunity to co-labor with God in purpose and destiny to be fruitful, multiply, and extend the boundaries of God's Kingdom beyond the Garden to the rest of the planet. Jesus on the cross became a curse for us, to redeem us from the effects of the Fall. This includes freedom from earning our provision by striving labor in fear. In Matthew 6, our Lord notes how the pagan peoples are always worrying and struggling to meet their needs. But he tells us to not worry because the Father knows our needs before we ask and will meet them. And Jesus specifically says in effect to not worry nor strive to get your provision but to "seek first the Kingdom and God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." As we seek to fulfill our God-given calling and purpose for His Kingdom, serving others in love with the gifts, abilities, personality, etc that Father has created in us, we will not only enjoy our work, but discover the truth that Our Father is our provider -- not our jobs -- and in His Kingdom there is neither lack nor economic downturns: only abundance for every need.
Yet sadly, so many of Papa God's children don't realize they have a rich Daddy and instead slave away like ancient Israel that wanted to go back into the bondage of Egypt (which represents the world) for the false security of slave wages. Yes, we are called to live and work in the world -- but not be a slave to it. But when we are daily driven by fear, worry and striving to earn our keep and provision -- or our righteousness, love, acceptance, fullness of life -- or freedom -- then we are in bondage to the world system. Of course, there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. But we are only striving in fear and peace-stealing stress to achieve what our Heavenly Daddy freely already gave us in Jesus! No, He is not angry with us when we do so; but I believe it saddens Him that we respond in fear rather than faith that trusts His goodness and what He has done for us. When Jesus died, the Father, like the wealthiest man in history, left us an incredible inheritance that we will lack for nothing whether spiritual, material, relational or in any other way.
No, my friends, Hitler and his master satan were wrong: freedom does not come from work. Only truth and grace in Messiah Jesus that reveals a Kingdom of giving in which all is provided in Papa's love, and the work we do is but a response of love -- not of fear or greed -- to serve in the power of the Spirit.
So my friends, I encourage you to enter God's presence where his Spirit will renew your mind in His word and open the eyes of your heart to His perfect love that casts out all fear and reveals the riches of Heaven in Christ for all of our needs. And in Jesus and his presence, you will find an incomprehensible grace that is the free gift of true freedom.